Listen to Julie Mahfood read her poem at This Really Happened on December 6th, 2011 at Café Sarajevo.
Inspired by Frances Driscoll’s “Forecasting”
Weave weather under skin, create
patterns brilliant blues—hues
to cool heatwinds.
Make neat lines garden.
Accept this thread
attached to strings unstrung,
have rejected need
though its storm courses. Long
to trace curves with tongue,
Take off coat; stay awhile—become
landscape in distance
never quite reached, boundaries
between: too. Have stars in eyes,
hot vials fire threatening to burn
to ground. Worn sky pounds
to powder, flour fine
will be sifted through cracks, floor.
When walk on, feet
will enter rooms noiselessly;
patients will hear coming.
Have sewn up so, yet refuse
to unravel. Ravish with, if not hands
caress in dark under water
or amidst a noisy people
being ferried in and of
waiting rooms. Will wait in will sit in
while are called ahead. Smell
will be with antiseptics, touch shared
with latex, with crosses
marking off days on between
appointments. Will taste
in medicines, hear
when there is nothing left
hope sound itself.
Move on bed, seek out
between sheets—no one here. Refuse
to breathe, to see past scars. Skin,
not skin. Eyelids fastened shut, with pins.
Wear sky until it calls, sea
it can drown, earth if it move.
cannot navigate. To slough off:
like skin cells, turn from a fine
powder, into into earth into sand
into skin oil and light. Burn.
Am neither nor tongues,
but everything which comes of mouth
is fire. Cannot sit; cannot speak.
Created and erased, am longer
a woman and weather, unleashed.
Map uncharted. Sky.
Night. An uneasy